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Posts Tagged ‘baby boomers’

Baby Boomers Stress Retirement and Disability Pay Outs

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

The typical conversation about Baby Boomers and Social Security involves the increase in retirees who are going to make Social Security insolvent, since retiring Baby Boomers outnumber those currently paying into the system. Baby Boomers will put a strain on Social Security retirement benefits, but another impact they are already having is on Social Security disability benefits.

The basic numbers behind Social Security disability benefits show that we have more and more applicants each year with fewer and fewer approved cases. During the 2006 fiscal year for the federal government, 2,524,550 workers applied for disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) approved 35.2 percent of those applications. In the most recent fiscal year, which ended in September, there were 3,243,079 applicants, with the SSA approving 33.5 of them.

As we age, we are more likely to suffer a severe injury that jeopardizes our ability to work. The rough economic times pose an additional burden, as older Americans face longer unemployment periods than their younger counterparts. The Baby Boomer demographic is thus increasingly likely to suffer an injury, come down with a severe malady or endure employment troubles. As their troubles rise, so do the number of people applying for disability benefits.

If you are of the Baby Boomer generation, do any of these concerns ring true for you?

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Union Letter to Social Security Paints a Grim 2012 Picture

Friday, October 14th, 2011

The union that represents Social Security Administration (“SSA”) employees in 1,200 offices throughout the nation recently sent a letter of concern to Democratic senators warning of the negative consequences from cuts to Social Security programs. The letter paints a pretty bleak picture for Social Security beneficiaries, whether they get retirement or disability benefits.

The SSA’s problems essentially revolve around the fact that it has to find ways to save money, even though its workload is increasing year after year. As Baby Boomers age, the number of older Americans is going to surge up through 2030, requiring additional funds for retirement benefits. At the same time, the poor economic times have led to increased disability applications, which require more money for the disability program. The increased beneficiaries and applications also require more work and more hearings from SSA employees, further boosting costs.

As the union wrote about Social Security, “no program has done more to protect middle class individuals when they retire or become disabled.” Effects of SSA cutbacks are already being felt. The SSA now closes its field offices 30 minutes early. It has cut employee overtime 80 percent and has had to implement hiring freezes.

The union’s letter discusses two outcomes – both negative – for next year:

  • If the 2012 SSA budget matches the 2011 one, the SSA will lose another 4,400 employees, resulting in the processing of 400,000 fewer disability applications.
  • If Congress cuts the budget by 5 percent, employees will have to have 24 unpaid, non-working days each year. Each of those days translates into the processing of 19,000 fewer retirement claims and 11,000 disability claims.

Have you made any adjustments to your future based on the uncertainty surrounding Social Security? The lawyers at our Tulsa Social Security disability law firm are interested in learning how disabled Americans have been coping with tough economic times and the possibility of fewer benefits.

Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers

Will Baby Boomers Affect Social Security?

Monday, April 25th, 2011

According to the Washington Post, a stampede of Baby Boomers will start in 2011, which means they will soon be tapping Social Security fund benefits. The first wave of Baby Boomers begins turning 65 this year. Any individual working and paying Social Security taxes can earn up to four credits per year based on net income. Social Security is more than a retirement program, it also offers Baby Boomers and others disability benefits in case they are left unable to work.

January 2011 officially started the Era of the Golden Boomers, a term coined for the generation that is set to retire. A flood of individuals tapping into the Social Security benefits could deplete the fund, critics argue. President Obama has suggested raising the retirement age. He is not the only one pushing for such a reform, GOP senators have asked the retirement age be pushed to 70.

Senators Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Mike Lee promoted a proposal that would gradually raise the retirement age from 67 to 70, and would not affect individuals currently age 65 or older. The Senators say that such a change would put the entitlement program on a long-term path to solvency without raising taxes. Social Security’s solvency issues could affect funds for individuals seeking Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. Medical reasons or work injuries can affect an individual’s working status, resulting in their inability to hold a job. Disabled individuals do have an option, the SSDI program provides monthly payments to those who cannot go out and earn a living due to a life-affecting disability.